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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day 6

Waking up this morning, things were different then the before.  There was no rush to break down camp or preparation for breakfast.  There wasn't that quick jolt of anxiety of what today's ride had in store for me or how my body was going to cope.  The truth is this.  I decided to end my bike tour early.  With a combination of poor weather and being on a time crunch, I simply could not hold out the coming storm.  Feeling unsafe to carry on through the rain on a narrow and wet coastal road, I made a confirmation call to Brian at 7am to inform him of my decision.  With a sound of relief in his voice, Brian told me he would head out as soon as he could to pick me up.  I gave him directions to my campground, thanked him and hung up.  Making my decision, I felt both relief and sadness.  On one had, I knew that weathering the storm would be both unsafe and unfun, but on the other hand I felt a sense of failure and defeat.  I had to tell myself that this was my first tour and mistakes were bound to be made.  As I mentioned last post, I didn't allow any kind of time buffer.  Rather then feeling like I gave up, I decided that I had just made a noobie error and mother nature capitalized on my mistake. 

With everything decided, I started to reflect on the last five days of my bike tour and I began to feel content with myself.  My goal for this trip was mental clarity.  I wanted to feel unchained from the daily grind.  I wanted to feel the rush of uncertainty of what lay ahead.  I wanted to be in a place where my mind could wander, uninfluenced and drift to the greatest depths of conscious thought.  I hoped to meet new and exciting people and see things I wouldn't have otherwise.  Determining that nearly all of these goals had already been met,  I felt accomplished and not defeated.

So what other goal had I not yet met?  Well, during this trip, I was looking for that one eatery where I could satisfy my insatiable desire for a killer breakfast.  With opportunity knocking, I set out at 8am to find a cafe that would knock my socks off.  Cruising into town, there was a light fog layer still looming the streets.  Deciding a local would have the best idea of where to go, I eagerly awaited the first person I could ask.  Within minutes, I flagged down a middle aged man who looked like a police man off duty.  He had a big bushy mustache and neatly combed greying hair.  I politely asked him if he knew of a good place to get breakfast.  Responding to me as if it was rehearsed, he said "Dorn's" without hesitation.  Content in his confidence, I felt assured that this was going to be what I was looking for.  Within minutes, I was turning left onto Morro Bay blvd, and after a few blocks I could see my destination.  There it was, a well maintained white building with an excellent view of Morro Bay.  I chained my bike across the street, walked inside and sat at a table with a great view.  I knew I wanted a traditional breakfast with eggs, bacon and pancakes.  Looking at the menu, I just had to decide on what sides to order.  When the waitress came, I asked for 3 buttermilk pancakes, eggs over easy, bacon, the side of fresh blueberry muffins, and a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice.  Within 10 minutes, everything arrived looking and smelling like it came form the heavens.  With the appetite of a linebacker and the frame of an Ethiopian, I deconstructed my plate with ferocity and precision.  Leaving a plate free of food, I was absolutely content with my meal.  Again, feeling no rush for the day, I relaxed, enjoyed the view, drank my water and then payed my bill. 

With several hours before my rescue wagon was expected, I rode out to Morro rock and checked out the waves.  After spending some time there, I felt the need to buy a book.  After all, i now had several days to relax in my hometown before I flew back to Orange County. Back tracking through Main st, I found a small bookstore that wasn't open yet.  The sign said open at 10 am.  Seeing that it was 9:45, I sat down on a chair and waited.  Right at 10, a woman opened the doors and I was the first customer of the day.  Inside, the smell of new and used books filled the air.  For such a small store, there was an incredible selection.  From floor to ceiling, thousands of books had found a home.  As a fiction fan, I began my search.  A few books I grabbed included, Moby Dick, Andromeda Strain, and finally The Hunger Games.  I decided on The Hunger Games, paid the cashier, and then went back to camp.

Feeling too tired to read, I layed in my tent, closed my eyes and took a nice nap.  At about 12pm I got a call from my aunt to let me know that they were close by.  After we spoke, I broke down my campsite, loaded my panniers, and then rode to the park entrance to wait for my saints to arrive.  Not knowing what type of truck to expect, it became apparent when a white Chevy Silverado came creeping by the the campground entrance.  After passing the entrance, I knew it was them when the truck made a 3 point turn and came back towards me.  As they pulled up, I started getting those happy feeling when a relative you havn't seen in awhile comes into sight but you havn't spoken yet.  Making eye contact now, we were all smiling.  With the truck parked, Brian gets out with his big grin and we embrace with a strong manly hug.  By this time, my aunt Elva is waiting by the truck so I reach over and give her petite frame a gently but loving hug.  As some of my avid blog followers, Brian and Elva are pretty keen to my adventures.  We immediately began talking about the trip while Brian tied my bike down into the truck bed.

Rather then being a long dull ride home in the rain, there were jokes being told, laughter, and friendly banter between one another.  With everyone pretty hungry, we stopped in to In N Out in Atascadero to eat.  Although I insisted to pay for their meals, my offer was turned down like a child asking for candy in a grocery store.  Feeling already grateful for them picking me up, I was also treated to a delicious #1 with a strawberry milkshake.  After eating we continued our ride home with more laughs, and for the first time since traveling, I was able to share the unwritten details of my trip.  Before heading home, we made one more stop to gather dinner supplies.  While Brian was chatting on his phone, my aunt Elva decided to drive the rest of the way home.  As we were making a left turn my aunt gives the truck a bit too much throttle and send us into a nice fishtail causing me to grab the OH NO handle! With the skills of Danika Patrick, she makes a seamless recovery and keeps on going like nothing happened. Who's got a bad ass aunt? That's right , I do.

Making it safely to the house, my aunt Elva began preparing dinner while Brian gave me the grand tour of the property they live on. Never seeing their current residence, I was amazed at what I saw. Wearing work boots and high viz jackets, we set out for the grand tour. Sitting on top of a high mountain, they live on a 130 ish acre equestrian center. Though it was drizzly, and very foggy, Brian said on a " house seeing day," you can see the coast and golden gate bridge. As we continued, he showed me the many projects that he completed on the ranch. From creating drainage systems for horse paddocks to fixing the ranch equipment, Brian had done quite a lot during his free time for the landowners. It became quite apparent that he possesses quite a number of skills.

After the tour was over, we returned to the house just in time for dinner. Spaghetti with meat sauce, foccacia bread, salad with avocado, and wine all sat at the dinner table. After eating an amazing dinner, Brian reluctantly shared some of his savory cookies for dessert.

April 11th, 2012 marked the officiall completion of my first bike tour up the coast of California. I left April 5th from Laguna Beach and within five days I managed to ride for 313 miles through cities such as, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Carson, Torrance, Redondo Beach, Los Angeles, Venice, Santa Monica, Malibu, Port Hueneme, Oxnard, Ventura, Dulah, Carpenteria, Summerland, Santa Barbara, Goleta, Lompoc, Orcutt, Guadalupe, Oceano, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo and finally, Morro Bay. Unlike a car road trip, I became intimate with each town, and city. I interacted with their people, and I touched the land. I became aware of each cities smells, sounds and climates. I felt the cracks in the road, and worked hard for every downhill cruise. I became aware of what the human body is capable of by spending sometimes 8 hours in the saddle. With all of these things experienced and documented, I feel grateful for having this opportunity and to share it with you. I encourage anyone that likes to travel, to try a bike tour. It doesn't have to be extesive, and you don't even need to be in excellent shape. You will be surprised at what you will encounter.
With my tour at an end, I hope to continue sharing my experiences with you. Eventually, I will finish my tour where I left off and see the coast that I missed out on.


Spinning Gear


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